Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Fed - Housing & Monetary Transmission Mechanism

Huge document with some interesting items to note with the housing market, including lots of charts around international housing prices, the effects of Fed rates on real estate,

Page 28 has a mortgage delinquency rate chart that is slightly scary... 14% subprime defaults?  Worse than  September, 2001 @ 10%?

Another fact to note - fixed-rate prime is now less than variable rate prime for the first time since mid 2002.

The last few paragraphs contain the best Fed nuggets though...

One objection to an easing of monetary policy following the collapse of an asset bubble is that it might lead market participants to believe that the central bank will always act to prop up asset prices, a belief that can make a bubble more likely. The central bank can mitigate such an interpretation, however, if it publicly emphasizes that its monetary policy is not directed at stabilizing any particular asset price but is rather
focused on achieving price stability and maximum sustainable employment. Making sure that a house-price collapse does not do serious harm to the aggregate economy in no way eliminates sharp declines in house prices and so does not provide insurance against such declines. The same reasoning holds true for stock prices. Indeed, we have seen substantial declines in housing and other asset prices in many countries even when monetary policy has been eased substantially.


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